Friday, June 06, 2014

Interior secretary says rising seas threaten Jamestown Island

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell got a firsthand look Thursday at ever-receding Jamestown Island, concluding that America's first permanent European settlement is vulnerable to rising seas from climate change. The region is also sinking, the result of a meteor that gouged out Chesapeake Bay 35 million years ago. Led by National Park Service rangers, Jewell trekked around the island, where some sections now lie beneath the James River, and heard of the devastation in 2003 when Hurricane Isabel left many parts of the island underwater and destroyed thousands of artifacts retrieved from archaeological digs. Dorothy Geyer, a Park Service natural resource specialist, said a 1½-foot rise in sea level would put 60 percent of the island under water, and a 4-foot-plus rise would increase that to 80 percent. "I know enough now having been in this job looking at vulnerable sites that this is a highly vulnerable site," Jewell said. Read more: Interior secretary says rising seas threaten Jamestown Island.  AP

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